Country: Burundi

Goods and services must be submitted in the French language.

Primary Contacts

Trade Mark Registration and Recordals Michelle Boyes
Trade Mark Renewals Rita Henderson
Patent Registration and Recordals Kary Day
Patent Annuities Sara Lloyd

Contentious Matters (Oppositions, Infringement Actions, etc.)

Trade Marks Martin Chinnery
Patents Louise Audhlam-Gardiner

Trade Mark Information

Can services be registered ? Yes
Single/Multi-Class Jurisdiction Multi-Class
Is the International Classification
followed ?
Nice Classification
Can Convention priority be claimed Yes
Documentation required to file Power of Attorney, simply signed;
10 Prints of the Mark;
Certified priority document and translation thereof if not in English or French.
Opposition period after publication N/A
Renewal due A new Burundi Intellectual Property law came into effect on 28 July 2009 which modernised the law, including the introduction of renewal to maintain rights in force. In the absence of implementing regulations, however, the Registry continued to treat applications in accordance with the provisions of the old law and issued certificates of registration without reference to a renewal term.

All trade marks registered since 28 July 2009 therefore require renewal, 10 years from their date of filing.
Grace Period N/A
Documents required to renew N/A
Proof of use due N/A
Documents required to file proof of use N/A
Can be struck off for non-use Non-use of the mark for a period of five years from registration renders it open to an action for cancellation by third parties.

Patent Information

Member of PCT No
Can Convention priority be claimed Yes
Deadline for filing priority document 3 months from filing date
Does the priority document have to be
translated ?
French translation of covering page required
Required Documents - Specification, including claims and abstract, in French;
- Power of Attorney, simply signed;
- Priority document(s) with French translation of covering page;
- Priority Assignment(s) if applicant in Burundi differs, with French translation.
Duration 20 years from the filing date
Annuities A new Industrial Property Law has recently been enacted in Burundi, and the implementing regulations have also been promulgated. However, it is not yet clear whether annuities are payable in resepct of patent cases.

News Articles: Burundi

Burundi - Renewal fees now payable

Further to previous articles posted on this website, it has finally been confirmed that renewal fees are now payable in Burundi in respect of all patent, design and trade mark cases filed on or after 28 July 2009. Until now, the official fees had not been promulgated such that renewal fees were not payable, but in a recent development, these fees have now been set.

For patents, annuities are payable in five-year blocks, the first block payment falling due on the first anniversary of the filing date and subsequent block payments falling due on the fifth, tenth and fifteenth anniversaries thereof. A six month period of grace is available on payment of a surcharge. In respect of existing cases where the first block payment has already fallen due, the Registrar is allowing us to attend to this payment without also requiring the surcharge to be paid. Furthermore, no deadline has been set as such for the late payment of this fee, although it is certainly recommended that this payment be made before the next block payment becomes due.

For designs, renewal fees are payable on the fifth and tenth anniversaries of the filing date, with a maximum term of 15 years.

In respect of trade marks, the new law introduces the requirement to pay renewal fees every 10 years after the filing date.

Should you require any further information or assistance in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact us.

11th December 2012

Burundi - Official fees promulgated

As previously reported, a new Industrial Property Law was enacted in Burundi following its signature by the President of Burundi and publication on 28 July 2009. However, neither the new official fees nor the implementing regulations were issued at that time. We have now been advised that the new official fees have finally been issued, resulting in a noticeable increase in the filing costs. However, the implementing regulations have still not been published and there is therefore still no provision or requirement to pay fees for the renewal of registrations granted under the old law.

All further developments in this regard will be reported promptly.

14th November 2012

Burundi - Upodate - Renewal of rights

Further to our earlier article, it has now been confirmed by the Director of the Burundi Industrial Property Office that trade marks, patents and designs registered prior to 28 July 2009 will remain in force indefinitely in accordance with the provisions of the former law and will not require renewal. All rights registered after the new law was enacted will require the payment of renewal fees to remain in force. We are seeking further information regarding these requirements, and further information will be posted once known.

14th November 2012

Burundi - New Intellectual Property Law effective 28 July 2009

As previously announced, a new Burundi Intellectual Property law was enacted on 28 July 2009 which has provided much needed modernisation of the law. In the absence of implementing regulations, however, the Registry has continued to treat applications in accordance with the provisions of the old law and regulations.

The regulations have still not been issued, but in the intervening period we have been seeking confirmation that all rights registered since 28 July 2009 are in fact subject to the provisions of the new law and the Registry has finally conceded this point.

Unfortunately, however, the new law requires foreign proprietors to use the services of a local agent and we are no longer able to file applications directly with the Registry, resulting in an increase in our costs. We confirm that we have found a suitable local representative with whom we have negotiated competitive fees and we will be pleased to continue to file applications on our clients' behalf in Burundi.

We are awaiting the issue of regulations to establish the filing requirements and official fees under the new law, including with regard to the payment of renewal and annuity fees, which were not payable under the old law. In the interim, the existing fees and formalities will continue to be applied.

We will keep you informed of further developments and we will be pleased to answer any enquiries.

31st August 2011

Burundi - New Intellectual Property Legislation

We wish to report that a new Industrial Property Law has recently been enacted in Burundi, following its signature by the President of Burundi and publication on 28 July 2009. However, the implementing legislation which is required in order for the new law to be promulgated remains outstanding. The Industrial Property Director of Burundi has therefore decided to continue to apply the former IP legal framework until such time as the implementing regulations have been finalized and put in place. Nevertheless, as the new law repeals all previous IP laws, we are of the opinion that the new law became fully effective upon its signature by the President on 28 July 2009. Furthermore we believe that, even though the Industrial Property Director is continuing to accept patent and trade mark applications under the terms of the old law, the provisions of the new law nevertheless apply thereto.

Under the previous IP law, there was no provision for the renewal of trade marks. Whilst the new law introduces a renewable 10 year term, it is presently unclear as to whether trade marks registered under the old law will also need to be renewed. The new law also introduces a requirement for absolute novelty in respect of patent applications. Therefore, whilst it is likely that applications for patents of importation (i.e. those based on foreign granted patents) will still be accepted by the Director of Industrial Property until such time as the implementing regulations have been promulgated, any such applications filed since 28 July 2009 are of doubtful validity.

We also understand that a new law will shortly be implemented in Rwanda, which will come into force upon its publication and which will broadly correspond with the provisions of the new Burundi law. Similarly therefore, patents of importation will soon no longer be provided for in Rwanda, and we therefore recommend that any revalidation patent applications that you wish to file there are instructed as soon as possible to ensure that no rights are jeopardised.

All further developments will be reported promptly.

10th November 2009

Burundi - New Trade Marks Law

We have received and reviewed a draft of the new Burundi Trade Marks Law.

Whilst the date of coming into force of this new law has not yet been set, the following points are worth noting at this stage :-

  • Trade Marks, Service Marks, Collective Marks, Certification Marks and Commercial Names will be registerable under the new law;
  • Rights accrue to the first party to use, and a Trade Mark application can be refused registration on the basis prior unregistered use by a third party in Burundi;
  • There is provision for the Registrar to allow the concurrent existence of identical marks for identical goods or services on the register;
  • Convention priority can be claimed;
  • Applications can be based on a Paris Union or WTO home registration;
  • Renewal is due 10 years from the filing date in Burundi, and every 10 years thereafter;
  • There is a 6 month grace period for attending to the renewal, with a late fine;
  • All license agreements must include a provision for the licensor to retain quality control;
  • Compulsory licenses can be issued by the Registry.

It is not clear at this stage what effect the new law will have on existing registrations, as there is at present no renewal due for Trade Marks in Burundi.

We shall publish further news as soon as we are able.

22nd December 2006

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